NHL labor talks set to resume on Tuesday
By John Wawrow ,AP
October 3, 2012, 12:06 am TWN
NHL labor talks will resume Tuesday morning, with both sides still focusing on secondary matters and not the core economic issues that continue to divide owners and players in a league-imposed lockout entering its third week.
The NHL confirmed on Monday that talks were set to resume in New York.
Negotiators for the league and NHL Players' Association are expected to pick up where they left off after Sunday, when they completed three straight days of discussions. The talks focused on secondary issues, such as what should define hockey-related revenue, as well as player health and safety.
Though both sides have made progress during the latest series of discussions, they've failed to make much of a dent in determining how to split up more than US$3 billion in league revenues between owners and players.
No further talks are currently scheduled beyond Tuesday.
The NHL locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired on Sept. 15, and has since canceled its entire preseason schedule. The next step is expected to come this week, when the NHL is anticipated to announce the postponement of the start of the regular season, which was scheduled to open on Oct. 11.
The NHL dispute is now attracting the attention of two New Jersey senators, who are urging both sides to settle.
U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez sent a letter Monday to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Don Fehr urging them to consider the economic impact on their state if the dispute is not resolved.
The Democrats wrote that Congress has jurisdiction over interstate commerce, which includes professional sports, and will be keeping a “close eye” on negotiations.
The letter warned that the absence of New Jersey Devils' games in Newark could mean millions of dollars in lost economic activity and jobs in especially tough economic times. The Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, creating a financial boost to the city just five months ago.
The lockout comes on the heels of the NBA's Nets moving from Newark to Brooklyn, New York.